Wednesday, November 3, 2010

PE............Physical Education

Students have two periods of Physical Education every week in their prep period. Teachers are supposed to provide one class period a week of physical education besides the prep PE. Mark Simmons was the long term PE coach from the early 1980's to 2004 when he moved to Alvarado Middle School. In 2004 Joe Fitzgerald became the coach with the assistance of Coach Zapata. Students must bring a note from their parents if they are required to skip physical activities for a health reason. All students are required to participate in warmup exercises for about 10 minutes at the beginning of every class. Students have instruction on how to play a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, and tetherball. Before playing they had to learn the rules of each sport. Students also had a month of square dancing. In PE students develop their listening skills, learned to follow directions, and bond with other students while developing good sportmanship skills.

Mark Simmons

Joe Fitzgerald

Chris Zapata

Cuts in Education Funding

Cuts in education funding in the year 2010-1011 have affected classroom supplies for students. Teachers are now going out into the community to procure supples for their students. Second grade teacher, Maureen Tecson, has been a help to many of the Alvarado teachers. Maureen has made it part of her job to find out where to get donated materials teachers and students need. Much of the materials have come from online sources. She enlists the help of her friends and family to vote for her classroom to get books for the class library from Cash for Classrooms and even fruit donated by Del Monte Fresh Produce®. She has also used to get classroom supplies.

Cathy Hampton received confirmation of a donation of approximately 100 fiction books geared specifically to boy readers! Thanks to Maureen and the donors @ donorschoose! Vince Lindain received individual listening centers--cd players with headphones to differentiate reading levels for listening to books for his first graders. A reading carpet to help students focus and have their own personal space on the carpet was funded for Suhky Gill's third grade class. Thanks to a tip from Maureen, Letty Muñoz Gonzalez received a new listening center donated to the class from Chevron. The media specialist, Alisha Valine, received $800 for DVDS for the library from the Donors Choose website. Anita Schumann first grade project was also funded. Maureen's reminder emails has helped Alvarado receive about $3000 of donated supplies.

Teachers have always applied for grants to support special programs. New Haven Unified School District has a mini grant program and many teachers apply for these. Teachers have always applied for big grants but not for regular classroom materials. Kim Pratt wrote a grant to fund the B-Wet science program at Alvarado and now it's also at Pioneer. The B-Wet grant is a huge grant. However, it's a sign of the tough financial times when teachers have to go the extra mile to get ordinary classroom supplies.